Flat Mites of the World


Key characters

  • c2, d2, e2, absent (Figs. 1-3)
  • c1, f2 present/absent (Fig. 4)
  • h2 elongate
  • anterior margin of prodorsum with broad flat projection over gnathosoma and coxae I-II, strongly forked medially (Fig. 5)
  • ventral and genital plates developed, often slightly sclerotised, often fused (Fig. 6)
  • anal plates not developed
  • 2 pairs ps setae
  • 1-3 segmented palp
  • both claws and empodium are pad-like, with tenent hairs (Fig. 7)

Similar taxa

Brevipalpus - does not have h2 elongate

Tenuilichus - c1, d1, e1 absent

Ultratenuipalpus - does not have h2 elongate

Number of species

over 300




World wide.

The African (91 spp.), Oriental (69 spp.), Neotropical (~64 spp.) and Western Palearctic (29 spp.) regions are the most species diverse.

Countries include: Brazil, China, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, The Philippines, South Africa, USA.


Many families of host plant including: Anacardiaceae, Arecaceae, Asteraceae, Combretaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Meliaceae, Mimosaceae, Myrtaceae, Orchidaceae, Rosaceae, Rubiaceae.


  • colour varies from red, orange to yellow-green when alive (Figs. 8-10)
  • eggs tend to be red, yellow-orange (Fig. 11)


Many species with propodosoma much wider than hysterosoma. Considered to be a paraphyletic genus.


Fig. 1. Tenuipalpus bucidus female dorsum (after Pritchard & Baker 1958).


Fig. 2. Tenuipalpus bucidus female dorsum (type specimen).


Fig. 3. Tenuipalpus pacificus female dorsum (images: Gary Bauchan, USDA-ARS).


Fig. 4. Tenuipalpus pacificus female posterior dorsum (image: Gary Bauchan, USDA-ARS).


Fig. 5. Tenuipalpus sp. female anterior prodorsum, with detail of broad flat projection.


Fig. 6. Tenuipalpus pacificus female posterior venter (image: Gary Bauchan, USDA-ARS).


Fig. 7. Tenuipalpus pacificus female, claws (c) and empodium (e) pad-like.


Fig. 8. Tenuipalpus sp. female live.


Fig. 9. Tenuipalpus sp. female live.


Fig. 10. Tenuipalpus sp. female live.


Fig. 11. Tenuipalpus sp. live eggs.